The top court had also said that as a pilot project, it would examine the situation in three districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh where khap panchayats were active. DH file photo
The Centre on Wednesday pleaded with the Supreme Court for a direction that no person or assembly of persons or family members can issue any threat of violence to couples getting married of their own volition.
Maintaining that states have been asked to curb the practice of honour killings, the Union government also said, 'Prohibition of Interference with Freedom of Matrimonial Alliance Bill' has been readied by the Law Commission to address the issue. As many as 23 states have already given their suggestions on the proposed legislation.
On a slew of suggestions made in a PIL by NGO 'Shakti Vahini', Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud that there should be a special cell in every district to address threats of physical annihilation to couples. All such cases should be investigated by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.
The bench, while reserving its judgement, once again said when two consenting adults get married irrespective of their background, no relative or third person can oppose or interfere with violence or threat to their life.
The Centre filed its written submission on the plea highlighting 'honour killings' for inter-caste and inter-faith marriages allegedly at the instance of 'Khap Panchayats' (village assembly), prevalent in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The state governments must provide protection to couples fearing for their lives and such couples should inform the marriage officers of any such threat so that they can be protected, it said.
The court said it would not name 'khap' but rather call such groups as assemblies in its judgement.